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Finish Line Scanxiety

I have an appointment with my MO on 25 September. I have to get blood work done several weeks ahead of time to make sure all the results are in for the appointment, so I’m planning to do that on 1 September. This should be my final 6 month check up and if my blood work looks good, it will mean 3 years in remission, which for Her2 positive, hormone negative cancer is the point they consider me cured.

For background information, when I was diagnosed 4 years ago I had a job lined up in Europe, which was a lifelong goal. After months of stress and chaos trying to prepare for an international move we were within 3 weeks of getting on the plane when we were delayed for Covid. A couple of months after that I was diagnosed with cancer, so we had to cancel the move, which was another blow on top of dealing with cancer and chemo and a global pandemic.

We always said we could try again for Europe, when we were past the cancer. Last week my husband found out that he had been selected for a position in Europe, which puts the dream back on the table in a very real way.

The anxiety is eating me alive right now. I know I could be prescribed something, and I know there isn’t really much to do except get to the appointments and see what happens. I know statistics are in my favor and that the anxiety doesn’t help. I am exercising and trying to eat well and take care of myself. I am trying not to obsess about twinges and aches and random body things. Sigh. We all know the waiting is the hardest part, but knowing that I can get through it doesn’t make the waiting any more pleasant.

Mostly I’m just venting in a place where I know people will understand.

Comments

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 848

    Congratulations on approaching the finish line. Chances are excellent that there will be no serious problems and you will get to realize your dream of living abroad. Because of my husband's job I have lived (and worked) in many countries. That has been an important part of shaping who I am.

    There is always uncertainty about medical care but usually there is a way to make things work. While I never had problems living in urban areas, being in a rural area sometimes meant no choice of doctor. If the doctor was good that was fine. In rural Scotland, however, I was assigned to a solo practice doctor who was subpar. The workaround was driving 30 miles to the A&E (ER) when his office was closed since that was his coverage. Visiting the US is also an option if necessary. I flew back to the US and stayed with my mother to have dental work done. Sometimes there were new treatments available abroad years before they were approved by the FDA.

    Life abroad is different but that is part of why I enjoyed it. All the best for your upcoming adventure!

  • aram
    aram Member Posts: 320

    I know the feeling! Vent away! That is why I do feel like I belong here although I have been out of treatments for a year and a half. One of the few communities, I feel safe and I know they get my anxieties over scans and waits.

  • melbo
    melbo Member Posts: 266

    thanks the the responses. Just typing it out helped move past the worst of it yesterday. Hopefully I can stay mostly reasonable until my blood work on Friday, which I will of course obsessively check results as soon as they hit the portal.

    Maggie15 — we’re going to be about 30 minutes from Frankfurt, so I expect I will be able to find an oncologist there if I need one. I will have to change insurance as part of the move though, which is also super intimidating. When we tried to move last time it was just some paperwork we had to do and not a super huge deal, but back then neither of us had any major issues and we had no real experience with hospitals and ongoing treatment. It turned out that we had excellent insurance, which was a huge relief, but now I am far more aware of the weight of the decision for choosing new coverage.

    I’m going to bring the list of overseas insurance options with me to my oncology appt to see if they take any of them. I would at least like the option of flying back to the states for certain things with my current doctors if I can’t find a doctor there.

  • iamnobird
    iamnobird Member Posts: 229
    edited August 2023

    Hello! So I get it totally. I was just chiming in because I am an American whose husband works overseas. We have been overseas over a decade now, primarily in Europe but with a stint in China thrown in there. We move every 3 years. I was diagnosed here in Finland and we had moved here from Vienna about 5 months before my diagnosis. I was offered the option by my husband’s employer to return to the states for treatment, but I chose to stay here in Finland. I have gotten amazing care and even had my DIEP surgery here. Cancer treatment has a lot of international standardization so that is reassuring. I had a second opinion from the Cleveland Clinic on my treatment plan and it was reassuring. Our insurance is American and it works in the US and abroad. I totally understand your nerves about changing insurance. Ours is really excellent and I wouldn’t want to give it up.

    Anyways. I haven’t lived in Germany yet, but I have lived in China, Belgium, Vienna, Italy, Spain and now Finland. We move again in 2 years and I will be 2.5 years post diagnosis at that point. It is all fraught with anxiety and I know I will be worried as well. Changing doctors and hospitals and such is stressful. But we have had such a good time living overseas so I think it is worth it.

    Feel free to message me if you have any questions and I will do my best to help. 😁

  • melbo
    melbo Member Posts: 266

    My initial test results are in and everything is normal! This is the first time in a long time I haven’t had at least one number slightly high or low, so I’m pretty excited. I still have one tumor marker test pending, but if everything else is normal then I’m not particularly worried about that result. We still have a lot of hoops to step through, including official medical clearance from our work (which will probably be done in November or December), but this was the test I was worried about.

  • iamnobird
    iamnobird Member Posts: 229

    Whew! That is great news! Good luck as you move through the rest of the process.

  • maggie15
    maggie15 Member Posts: 848

    Great news! I hope the qualification process goes smoothly.